Bruce C. Shelley papers
This collection contains materials relating to Bruce C. Shelley’s time in both the board/strategy game and video game industry. These include digital materials, game rules, correspondence, strategy guide notes, conference materials, articles, magazine clippings, design documents, outlines, order forms, prototype specs, inserts, and reviews. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1982 and 2000.
The Bruce Shelley papers have been arranged into three series, each of which has been further divided into subseries. The collection is housed in three archival document boxes.
- 1975 - 2010
- Majority of material found within 1982 - 2000
- Shelley, Bruce C. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
At this time, digital files in this collection are limited to on-site researchers only. It is possible that certain formats may be inaccessible or restricted.
Please see The Strong's Digital Games Files Access Policy
Conditions Governing Use
0.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Bruce Campbell Shelley began his games career testing war board games by mail for free. In 1980, he was one of the founding members of game company Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) along with several friends from the University of Virginia. Simulations Publications provided him with his first job as a professional game designer in the summer of 1981. Shelley joined Avalon Hill in 1982, where he developed board games such as 1830: The Game of Railroads and Robber Barons and Titan. In 1987, Avalon Hill prompted Shelley to switch his focus from board games to computer games. Shelley worked alongside Sid Meier and Andy Hollis at MicroProse Software Inc., learning the philosophy of game design; there, Shelley co-designed Railroad Tycoon (1990) and Civilization (1991) —the games for which he is best known.
Shelley started at Ensemble Studios in 1995, joining two fellow gamers he knew from college. As Senior Designer at Ensemble, Shelley helped to structure the company and influenced the development methodology. He contributed to Age of Empires (1997) and Age of Empires II: Age of Kings (1999), real-time action games with historical depth. Shelley moved to Zynga in 2009 as a Senior Design Director on CastleVille (2011) alongside Brian Reynolds and Dave Pottinger. As of 2017, Shelley continues to be active in the gaming community.
Shelley’s methodologies in developing games include targeting broad audiences, working with prototypes early in the process, keeping the development process fun and fast-paced, drawing inspiration from existing games, and focusing on creating an enjoyable, quality, and best-selling game. His accomplishments include being inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008 as well as being elected to its Board of Directors.
System of Arrangement
Series I: Analog game-related, c. 1975-1984
Subseries A: Simulations Publications, Inc.
Subseries B: Avalon Hill Games, Inc.
Subseries C: Miscellaneous wargaming materials
Series II: Digital game-related, 1993-2010
Subseries A: MicroProse Software Inc.
Subseries B: Ensemble Studios
Subseries C: Zynga
Series III: Personal papers, 1978-2009
Subseries A: Personal papers
Subseries B: Conference materials
- Age of Empires
- Age of Empires II
- Age of Mythology
- Avalon Hill Game Company
- Board game industry -- United States
- Civilization (Computer file)
- Colonization (Computer file)
- Computer games -- Design
- Computer games -- Development
- Computer games -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Computer games industry
- Dick, Philip K. Game-players of Titan
- Ensemble Studios
- Games -- Video & Electronic
- Gaming Conference
- Goodman, Rick
- Hollis, Andy
- Meier, Sid
- MicroProse Software, Inc.
- Personal papers
- Pottinger, Dave
- Railroad Tycoon (Game)
- Renaissance of Infantry
- Reynolds, Brian
- Simulations Publications, Inc.
- Video games -- Design
- Video games -- Development
- Video games -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- War games
- Zynga (Firm)
- Finding Aid to the Bruce C. Shelley Papers, 1975-2010
- Nicole Pease
- July 2017
- Description rules
- Language of description
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA